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We believe that learning to code consists of much more than just the materials we provide and the curriculum we've created. We currently use a mixture of workshops, exercises, projects, classroom break-out sessions and end-of-week challenges to help our students understand programming. The immersive environment, having expert coaches on hand all day and pairing with other students are all key to our educational process.
Coding is more than syntax. The best developers see themselves as Artisans.
We prefer code written in pairs over code written by lone-wolves.
Doing it right and going a little slower is always better than moving fast and ignoring best practise.
You can read about riding a bike 'til the cows come home; unless you actually try riding one, you're unlikely to be competing in the Tour de France any time soon.
It doesn't matter how much you pay a personal trainer - you still have to do the squats! As with training, so with learning.
You have to be well to learn well, so we encourage our students to take care of their health - through yoga, meditation and keeping fit.
Relate what you did yesterday, what you’re planning on doing today, where you got stuck, and how you got unstuck. Lots of clapping and feel-goods.
Students are introduced to key programming skills in isolation, and then given room to practice and feed back in a group setting. This is a chance to have a coach demo some stuff, or visualise things using a board or visualisation technology if you're a remote student.
Students pair with each other either in person or remotely throughout the morning, building real stuff using tools and practices we’d expect from a professional junior developer.
Our cohorts tend to lunch together. Generally they like to go out in droves to one of Shoreditch’s fine local eateries and there's often a lunchtime talk from one of the many CTOs that our hiring team speak to!
Programming is extremely challenging. Meditation helps keep a lid on things, keeps you grounded, and keeps your brain sharp.
The afternoon is spent pair programming, as students work through the challenges or projects provided in the curriculum.
A pecha kucha night, a trip to a software craftsmanship meetup at Yammer, a hosted event, or a film night...we love to organise stuff to keep your social bar topped up. If you're a remote student why not game together online? Or even meet up if you're near each other.
In the four weeks preceding the full-time course, all students are required to complete a (very important!) part-time PreCourse, which ensures that all of our students get to the required basic level of competence when they enrol at Makers Academy. In the first week, we focus on the foundations: first, the command-line, which is key to navigating around your computer; second, you'll tackle version control using Git and Github. This is followed by learning Ruby syntax through challenges. The PreCourse requires at least 20 hours per week to complete successfully, but the more time you can spend on the PreCourse, the better.
The main topics of week 1 are test-driven development and object-oriented programming. By now, students have some experience writing pure Ruby code and are familiar with the functionality of core Ruby classes. This week we start creating our own classes in a test-driven way. The aim of this week is to understand how to structure code using objects. This weekend, students will attempt their first weekend challenge. Weekend challenges are completed each week to reflect and consolidate the learning from the previous week.
This week we delve into more complex test-driven development and object-oriented programming to make sure students understand these important concepts well.
By now, students are comfortable using Ruby and writing object-oriented code in a test-driven way. In week 3 we focus on the fundamentals of the web: HTTP protocols, the Sinatra framework, HTML & CSS. We also learn how to deploy our code to Heroku and use the development tools in Chrome. Finally, students also learn how to use Capybara to test-drive web applications. This week is a favourites amongst students, as they are finally able to deploy a working application to the web.
It's time to learn how to add a relational database to a Sinatra application using DataMapper. In this week we talk about relational databases, key-value stores and SQL. We also spend a lot of time discussing proper management of user accounts: hashing and salting, choosing appropriate hashing algorithms and mitigating common security risks. Students write a user management system (sign up, sign in, sign out, etc) from scratch, paying special attention to the security aspects. This is an important milestone as students now have a full picture of web development.
This week is all about teamwork as students are introduced to some techniques and practices common in an Agile or XP workplace. Working on a set project in small groups, students will learn Git workflow, QA, Standups/Scrums, Kanban and Pair Programming in a team environment. This is also a great opportunity to practice and consolidate the skills and concepts learned in previous weeks.
This week we consolidate our learning by building a full-stack project using everything we've learnt from the previous weeks. Agile, Git workflow, User Stories, and teamwork are revisited in another team based project.
This week we get back to pure Object Oriented Design with a series of individual challenges designed to stretch students' understanding of OOD principles such as SOLID. This week will reinforce behaviours like testing first, using enough design upfront and applying XP values to your code. The challenges this week will be undertaken individually, and are designed to mimic technical tests commonly used by employers as part of the recruitment process.
By now students are confident Junior Developers. To put their skills to the test, they build a final project that shows how far they've come since they started. This week we introduce fewer new topics and instead focus on helping students to build the first version of their final project.
Early in the week we declare a feature freeze to make sure the final projects are as polished as possible. This is the most intensive week at Makers Academy, when all teams stay late trying to outperform each other to write the most impressive code. There is no Friday challenge. Instead, we have a graduation ceremony, followed by a party attended by friends, families, hiring partners, recruiters, ex-students and prospective students of Makers Academy.
|PreCourse Start||Course Start||Hiring Begins|
|13 February 2017||13 March 2017||2 June 2017|
|13 March 2017||10 April 2017||30 June 2017|
|10 April 2017||8 May 2017||28 July 2017|
|8 May 2017||5 June 2017||25 August 2017|
|5 June 2017||3 July 2017||22 September 2017|
|3 July 2017||31 July 2017||20 October 2017|
|31 July 2017||28 August 2017||17 November 2017|
|28 August 2017||25 September 2017||15 December 2017|
We run cohorts every 4 weeks onsite and every 12 weeks remotely, and applications are highly competitive. We offer numerous payment options.